A university technical college focused on preparing students for careers in engineering and advanced manufacturing has been given the green light.
South Durham UTC is set to open in 2016 in Newton Aycliffe, sponsored by Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent in partnership with the University of Sunderland.
Train manufacturer Hitachi Rail Europe will help with work experience placements, industrial site visits, equipment contribution, lecturing support, company mentoring, and guaranteed interview experience among other things.
The UTC will devote 40% of its 14-16-year-old curriculum to technical study, with the figure rising to 60% for 16 to 19-year-olds.
Keith Jordan, managing director for Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Today’s announcement is a significant development for Hitachi Rail Europe and for wider manufacturing in the North East.
“It reflects the government’s objectives to support skills development in the region and across the engineering sector, tackling the problems that exist around skills shortages and unfilled vacancies.”